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Florida Guide > Disney General

Senior Moments At Disney

We love going to Florida as much now as we did almost 20 years ago. In fact the anticipation is greater than ever as we look forward to our familiar favourites and eagerly await new adventures.

However, despite the rejuvenating effect of the weather, and pool with spa in our villa, we can’t ‘do Disney’ with the tenacity we used to muster. During recent years we have adopted a different approach and now spend almost as much time appreciating the Disney Resorts and wonderful transportation system as we do the thrill rides and roller coasters.

We always have an annual pass but any park hopper allows you to make full use of the Disney transportation system. All those buses, monorails, ferries and launches which are so busy in the morning, and when the parks close, are almost empty in the daytime. The resorts, likewise, are almost deserted during the day.

For the purposes of this article for ‘the others’ I am referring to those who are, shall we say, ‘less experienced in life and all things Disney than my husband and I are.’ They still want to ride Space Mountain then dash across the park to get on BTMR followed by Splash Mountain then cross again to go on Buzz Lightyear etc. etc. We are more likely to fall asleep in Carousel of Progress having done 2 circuits on the People Pedway Mover.

Here are a few scenarios of how we take Disney a little more slowly now, enjoying the details rather than dashing by.

Magic Kingdom :- Arrive T and TC. The others catch crowded ferry or monorail to MK, we walk left and take the pedestrian crossing to the Polynesian. We amble among the longhouses, making our way to the beach where we walk to the end of the headland and watch the ferry cross. We watch the ducks for a while and then go past the Luau area towards the wedding pavilion and stroll past the GF spa into the Floridian then catch the monorail onto MK. We may go into MK for the day or more often than not we just cross over to the launch that takes guests to the Wilderness Lodge, We enjoy the launch and everyone else is still going in the opposite direction so our launch is quiet and we can appreciate the wildlife on Bay Lake. We get off at Wilderness Lodge and call in at Roaring Forks for a cold drink its cool and quiet in here, we sometimes have a fruit cup and sit at one of the tables outside. Back outside again to get the launch over to Fort Wilderness campground. Here we take a glance at the lawnmower tree and then head over to the animal area to check out the horses and the goats. Now you can catch the launch back to MK and then the ferry over to the TTC. We might feel like going back to the villa now as its getting hot and we want to take a dip in the pool. We’ve had a lovely relaxed morning, avoiding the crowds but appreciating a little Disney magic. Cost 2 fruit cups at $2.29 each

Hollywood Studios/Epcot

Park at Hollywood Studios and ‘the others’ will turn left to the park. We turn right, cross the road opposite the bus station and take the path on the right hand side along the waterway. This is a 30 minute stroll to the Boardwalk. I usually turn left there across the bridge and head towards the shop at the Beachclub.( I don’t go to the shop on the Boardwalk because they never stock English newspapers)

Once we have collected the morning paper we go to Beaches and Cream. By now, we know the early morning rush will have quietened down and we sit outside with our coffee and read the paper. From here we might take the launch to the International Gateway in order to go into Epcot for a walk round world showcase. Its usally quiet as ‘the others’ are still in Future World. One circuit is usually enough. By then it starts to get busy so it’s onto the launch at International Gateway and a relaxing sail, all the way back to Hollywood Studios. We may go into Hollywood Studios or perhaps not , the pool at the villa beckons and we want to relax before we go to’live it up’ in the evening.

Downtown Disney 9 am

Great ! We love the atmosphere here and its quiet, early in the day, nothing opens until 10 o’ clock. Parking is very easy You see people who like to jog, and Disney staff who have time for a cheery ‘good morning’ The squirrels and ducks are busy. I like to walk by the water at Westside as you gaze across to Saratoga Springs its so peaceful. Sit and watch the anhinga on the water trying to guess where they are going to reappear each time they dive. What an amazing bird they are, so unique they are called the anhinga anhinga because they are the only one within the species. I am tempted to tell you more about them (but perhaps that’s for a different article)

Once the shops start to open the atmosphere changes and I may go into retail mode. Go into Basin and check out the soaps, the Pin Station is a favourite place for me and over at West side I love Hoi Paloi and the magnet shop. I rarely walk out without a few new magnets. By lunch time the place is getting busy and we are getting peckish. Time for a boat ride. Near Rainforest Café you can pick up the boat for Dixie Landings and it’s a 20 minute sail past Saratoga Springs and French Quarter to DL. Make your way to the food court where they serve a delicious Minestrone soup for a couple of dollars. We sit by the waterwheel and relax. Instead of catching the boat outside, we stroll along the canal to French Quarter. There is a family of otters who live along the canal bank and you just may be lucky enough to spot them. Then it’s back on the boat and return to Downtown. A bit more shopping and when we have had enough back to our villa for more rest and relaxation by our own pool.

I don’t want to give you the impression, that we never have a great time in the parks, we do. We can still whoop it up on Splash Mountain, much to the embarrassment of the younger contingent when I scream. But we do like the slower Disney Days as well. The Resorts are great places to slow the pace down. Do I ever want to stay? Why would I? I have the best of both worlds , Disney World and Villa World, a private pool and spa at my age, is just the place for me.

Look out for more Senior moments.

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Page added on: 21 April 2005
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